Insights Unleashed

November 28, 2022

Insights Unleashed

How to Leverage Data Visibility & Insights to Keep Up with Industry 4.0

By Ty Schroeder

The Fourth Industrial Revolution—also known as Industry 4.0—is in full swing and calling attention to complex manufacturing processes like product tracking and data gathering. For organizations looking to become more data driven and forward-focused, Industry 4.0 serves as a launching pad, as it’s able to advance and combine manufacturing technologies with the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and more, to streamline processes and optimize the entire business.

Data has become paramount—and around 77% of industrial manufacturers say they are creating big data strategies and implementing big data projects today. But the main issue for companies isn’t whether they’re generating enough data, it’s whether they are getting the most value and greatest insights from that data. With data forming the backbone of manufacturing, companies need to be able to leverage all the data they need, including through internal and third-party assets. And better data visibility helps manufacturers improve efficiency and reduce costs by collecting, organizing, and analyzing data across disparate areas of the business, ultimately helping them gain knowledge on how to improve workflow.

With Industry 4.0 technology empowering manufacturers, they can take their data handling further by implementing a forensic traceability technology like Ashton Potter’s ProLinc®, which helps organizations access accurate, real-time information about their products at all times, thus gleaning better insights they can use to make important decisions. In this blog, we will discuss how to keep up with ever-evolving Industry 4.0 standards and share the best ways to leverage data visibility to increase supply chain efficiency and improve data analytics.

Industry 4.0 and Today’s Manufacturing Demands

AI-powered manufacturing can drive up to

30% yield improvements and 15% waste reduction.

The manufacturing industry has become heavily digitized, leading to a whole new host of data that can be leveraged to deliver on consumer demands. Manufacturers are under enormous pressure to provide customers with transparency in their production process while still optimizing their supply chain and meeting operational and financial goals simultaneously.

Organizations are only as effective as their technology. Companies must meet these growing consumer demands by utilizing the right traceability solution that is able to process high volume, high velocity product data and continuously and securely store business-critical information in real time. A product security and traceability solution like ProLinc® offers flexible automation, easier digital performance management, and quality analytics access with AI-based inspections.

New technologies like IIoT, cloud analytics, and AI are increasingly becoming more utilized in production facilities and throughout operations. Data-related tech, however, is trailing these other industry game changers. According to SYSPRO research, only 20% of manufacturing businesses have looked at investing in big data analytics tools to process and analyze data.

The difference between simply gathering data and embracing Industry 4.0 lies in the manufacturer’s ability to translate data into useful information that can be made actionable to drive operational improvements. This requires organizations to leverage a solution that not only is optimized to unleash granular data at scale, but can also clean, organize, and translate this data to meet key performance indicators that are monitored in real-time. Overall, companies need to leverage Industry 4.0 and all of its drivers to achieve faster, more sustainable change.

Keeping Up with Industry 4.0

At its core, Industry 4.0 redefines how manufacturers derive and deliver value, and it’s important for manufacturers to continually adapt and evolve with ever-changing technology trends. Many are ready to do so—in a 2020 IBM survey, 34% of companies said they are adopting AI technology, up from 14% a year prior. There’s a good reason for this, as a recent IBM report notes that AI-powered manufacturing can drive up to 30% yield improvements and 15% waste reduction.

With the right tools in place, the benefits of Industry 4.0 are attainable. ProLinc® unleashes Industry 4.0 transformation, enabling greater data visibility which helps manufacturers access critical insights in real-time. Utilizing sensor-based data technology to monitor equipment productivity, conditions, and usage enables a new level of Industry 4.0 insight that can be leveraged to proactively spot and resolve issues throughout the manufacturing process. Some other actions organizations may want to consider in order to embrace Industry 4.0 may include:

  • Leveraging cloud and moving data to the core of the business operations
  • Adopting technology to enable seamless internal and external collaboration
  • Embedding AI into operations to augment human intelligence
  • Deploying operating models that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion

With so much at stake today with regards to safety, efficiency, and cost, manufacturers must make the effort to put significant resources into their digital transformation. It’s necessary to optimize cost and effort so that the benefits of the data-driven initiative will fully cover and surpass the investment through increased ROI. These investments are paying off for some, but many remain unable to scale successful pilot programs or fully leverage new tools and technology to see meaningful returns—which shows the need for the right partner who can help them take their digital initiatives to the next level.

Leveraging Data Visibility

With better data visibility comes the capacity to glean insights and make critical business decisions based on up-to-date information. Data visibility is all about clean, real-time data and how that data is used to inform decisions on supply, product, materials, delivery, and beyond. A significant benefit of visibility into manufacturing operations is the ability to identify areas that need improvement so workflows can be streamlined and made more efficient.

Powerful oversight of an organization’s various processes is crucial in order to maintain efficient operations, and having the right system like ProLinc® in place allows companies to dynamically track all sub-components, products, and batches throughout their lifecycle. Then, ProLinc® securely stores this data in a Blockchain-enabled database for immediate access, thus enabling global visibility without operational disruption.

Additionally, the labor and expense needed to correct potential errors can greatly add up, so better data visibility and insight into gaps in processes offers the ability for process improvement and enhanced efficiency. And should a recall occur, ProLinc® enables rapid recall resolution through forensic traceability that spans the entire global supply chain.

Adopting Industry 4.0 tools can increase a company’s competitiveness, productivity, and profitability while streamlining the recordkeeping process. This technology transformation helps manufacturers break down data siloes, enables data sharing, mitigates risks, and reduces unplanned downtime. With ProLinc® seamlessly integrating with an enterprise’s existing systems, one unified view of production can be realized across the supply chain.

Partnering with a Proven Leader in Product Integrity

Industry 4.0 is rapidly modernizing manufacturing and boosting industrial competitiveness. Coupled with IIoT, Industry 4.0 offers manufacturers better ways to collect, organize, analyze, and act on critical data. As manufacturing organizations increasingly rely on real-time data visibility to perform functions, they will be able to gain richer insights for better performance in today’s data-driven industrial world.

Utilizing Industry 4.0 technology like ProLinc® empowers organizations with greater data visibility than ever. By enabling true Industry 4.0 connectivity, ProLinc® translates insight into real value for the factory, including:

  • Greater product quality and safety through sensing modules that tie critical factory processes and conditions to specific products.
  • Cross-supply chain visibility, made possible by tracking subcomponents and products from the supplier, through the factory, distribution community, and retail channels.
  • More proactive, data-driven decision making through real-time monitoring, reporting, and alerting for a diverse range of configurable KPIs.
  • True Industry 4.0 insight, enabled by a solution that breaks down silos between existing systems and contextualizes insights in one, complete view.

These benefits cannot be understated. Through ProLinc®, organizations are able to truly transform their manufacturing operations.

Speak with an expert to learn more about Industry 4.0 technology trends and how to leverage data visibility to improve supply chain processes.